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Recha Rosa Saalfeld lived at St.-Annen-Straße 11

Recha Rosa Saalfeld, nee Levy (also spelled Levin), lived in the Jewish Seniors' Home at St.-Annen-Straße 11 from 1936 to 1942.



St. Annen-Straße 11 (March 2010) [1]
St. Annen-Straße 11 (March 2010) [1]

She was born in Segeberg, 30 km/20 miles west of Lübeck, on 23 September 1853 although some other sources have 1854 as the year of her birth.  She was married in Lübeck on 6 July 1881.  Her husband, Siegfried Selig Saalfeld, was born in Moisling, now a suburb of Lübeck, in 1846.  His family had been long resident in Moisling.  Their only child, Albert, was born on 29 June 1882.  For awhile this small family lived at Schildstraße 20, at which the Saalfeld family not only had their residence but their place of business as well.

Siegfried Selig Saalfeld, registered as a painter and varnisher, obtained his Lübeck citizenship in 1908 and in 1926 was able to purchase the building at Marlesgrube 14, where his furniture and antique store was located.  With the proceeds of this business he provided for his family.  His younger brother Jacob Saalfeld, his wife, Fanni, who was the younger sister of Recha, and their four children, Franziska, Leopold, Regina and Mindel lived kitty corner/diagonally opposite at Marlesgrube 7.  Jacob Saalfeld was a watchmaker, who also dealt in antiques.

It can be assumed that Albert Saalfeld first attended the primary school of the Jewish community located in the building of the St.-Annen-Straße Synagogue before attending the Großheimsche Secondary School at Parade 2, which was a renowned private school.

1 April 1898 grades/school report for Albert Saalfeld as given to him by the Dr. G. A. Reimann’sche (earlier called Großheim’sche) Realschule (Grade School) in Lübeck.
1 April 1898 grades/school report for Albert Saalfeld as given to him by the Dr. G. A. Reimann’sche (earlier called Großheim’sche) Realschule (Grade School) in Lübeck.
Hansestadt Lübeck Archives
Hansestadt Lübeck Archives

At the conclusion of his schooling Albert Saalfeld completed a vocational course in business and then moved to Berlin, where he married Klara Jarosch from Bitterfeld, who was ten years his junior.   Their daughter Ruth was born on 30 July 1914 in Berlin.  Albert Saalfeld enlisted to fight in World War I and was killed in action in October 1917.  During the war his wife and young daughter lived with his parents, Rosa and Siegfried Saalfeld, in Lübeck.  At the end of the war in 1918 she and her daughter moved back to Berlin.  

Now Siegfried and Rosa Saalfeld lived by themselves, yet in a neighbourhood in which many of their close relatives lived.  The older children of their siblings left Lübeck in the following years and in 1924 Rosa's sister, Fanni, died at the age of 67.

In 1933 Rosa Saalfeld was already 79 years old and Siegfried Saalfeld 86.  Emigrating to another country was out of the question due to their advanced age.

At the end of February 1935 Recha Rosa Saalfeld lost her husband.  Siegfried Selig Saalfeld died at home at the age of 88 due to heart failure.  According to the death certificate, which was issued by the Dr. Horwitz, who was Jewish, Siegfried also suffered from the onset of dementia.

Three additional deaths in the family dramatically effected the familial situation in 1935:  The son-in-law of Jacob Saalfeld, Max Rosenthal, died at 50 years of age from tuberculosis.  Friederike Saalfeld, the sister of Jacob and Siegfried Saalfeld, fell and broke her hip, dying in hospital at the end of November due to pneumonia; and on 25 December 1935 Jacob Saalfeld suffered a fatal heart attack.

Even if their children had considered fleeing Germany they hardly had the wherefore all to do the necessary organizing to emigrate due to all the social upheaval, their time of mourning and growing financial problems.

In February of 1936 the 82 year old Recha Rosa Saalfeld moved into the Seniors' Home of the Jewish Community at St. Annen-Straße 11.  Her house at Marlesgrube 14 was sold as well as the other buildings in possession of the family, namely Schildstraße 20 and Marlesgrube 7.  Because of the anti-Semitic policies which had in the meantime gone into effect, the family's financial situation improved only minimally through the sale of these properties. 

While in the seniors' home Rosa Saalfeld continued to experience the unrelenting and ever increasing discrimination and disenfranchisement of Jewish people including the destruction of the Synagogue and finally people being driven out of their hometowns to be exterminated. 



Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck, Staatliche Polizeiverwaltung 124 (Hansestad Lübeck Archives, State Police Administraition Number 124)
Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck, Staatliche Polizeiverwaltung 124  (Hansestad Lübeck Archives, State Police Administraition Number 124)

This document was signed by Rosa Saalfeld in January 1939 stating she accepted the government imposed first name of Sara.



At the end of October 1941 both her nieces, Mindel Saalfeld and Franziska Mindus, along with Franziska's husband, Siegmund Mindus, a bank official, and their two sons, Julius and Werner, were deported from Hamburg to the Lodz Ghetto in Poland.  Whether they were later gassed in Chelmo, Poland or lost their lives in some other manner is not known.

On 6 December 1941 the majority of the Jews still living in Lübeck were deported to Riga, Latvia, including the family of Rosa Saalfeld's nephew, Leopold Saalfeld, his wife, Helene, and 15 year old daughter Margot and her niece Regina Rosenthal along with her 13 year old daughter, Fina.  All of them died in Riga.  It is not known whether they lost their lives due to the extreme cold and starvation in the first winter months at the Jungfernhof Concentration Camp or whether they were among the victims of the mass shootings in the Bikernieki Forest in Riga in February and March of 1942.

Death certificate from the Theresin ghetto [4]
Death certificate from the Theresin ghetto [4]

Recha Rosa Saalfeld was deported to Theresienstadt (now Terezín in the Czech Republic 60 km/36 miles north of Prague) on 19 July 1942 and died there two months later on 10 September 1942 shortly before her 88th (or 89th {see above}) birthday. 

Only her daughter-in-law Klara and her granddaughter Ruth successfully survived by fleeing to the USA.

In Hamburg four Stolpersteins have been laid in memory of Franziska Mindus, nee Saalfeld, her husband, Siegmund and their two sons, Julius and Werner, in front of the building at Rutschbahn 14.  Another Stolperstein in memory of Mindel Saalfeld can be found at Carl-Petersen-Straße 29, Hamburg.

In Lübeck Stolpersteins in memory of Leopold Saalfeld, his wife, Helene and their daughter, Margot, have been laid at Fleischhauerstraße 1 and in memory of Regina Rosenthal, nee Saalfeld, and her daughter, Fina, at Marlesgrube 9.

Picture Credits

[1] Heidemarie Kugler-Weiemann
[2] Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck
[3] Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck, Staatliche Polizeiverwaltung 124
[4] Internet-Datenbank der Gedenkstätte Theresienstadt: www.holocaust.cz

Index of Resource Material other than Standard References

  • Adressbücher und Meldekartei der Hansestadt Lübeck
  • Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck, Staatliche Polizeiverwaltung 109, 110, 124
  • Personenstandsbücher Israelitische Gemeinde Bd. 4, Familienverzeichnis, Schulen, Großheim'sche Realschule
  • Buch der Erinnerung, Die ins Baltikum deportierten deutschen, österreichischen und tschechoslowakischen Juden, bearbeitet von Wolfgang Scheffler und Diana Schulle, München 2003
  • Datenpool JSHD der Forschungsstelle "Juden in Schleswig-Holstein" an der Universität Flensburg
  • Ingaburgh Klatt, "... dahin wie ein Schatten", Aspekte jüdischen Lebens in Lübeck, Lübeck 1993
  • Memorbuch zum Gedenken an die jüdischen, in der Schoa umgekommenen Schleswig-Holsteiner und Schleswig-Holsteinerinnen, hrsg. v. Miriam Gillis-Carlebach, Hamburg 1996
  • Yad Vashem, The Central Database of Shoah Victims Names
  • Zeitzeugengespräche (Conversation with contemparies of the Saalfeld family)


Heidemarie Kugler-Weiemann 2012

Translation: Glenn Sellick and Martin Harnisch 2013

St-Annen-Straße 11 - Recha Saalfeld